Book Review: Making Waves by Thorne Moore (@ThorneMoore)#RBRT #science fiction #thriller

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I truly believe Thorne Moore could write a five-star book about a paper bag. She has challenged herself by writing in books of different genres and her readers (including myself) have found them all compelling. I did not read the first book in this series (Inside Out) but no matter, this book qualifies as a stand-alone. I chose it because I wanted to see how the author fared with science fiction, and she fares very well indeed.

The setting: Two hundred years into the future, human civilization has populated various moons and planets in what is collectively called the Outer Circle. Triton station, the Outer Circle headquarters of Ragnox, Inc., on the moon of Neptune, is as far as the intrepid can go unless exploring. Ragnox is the unassailable villainous corporation ruling over the territory with its psychopathic boss, Pascal. One of the activities he oversees, in addition to mining, uses so-called mutants, generations born in the Outer Circle of the solar system who have enhanced psychic abilities, as guinea pigs for horrendous scientific experimentation. The only challenges to Pascal’s ruthless pursuit of money and power are Pan, a rival, but less powerful, company, and a dissident news organization called Ocean Waves, which makes public the excesses and evils of Ragnox.

The author manages to create the setting with a minimalist approach to its description. She does not spend a lot of time on the scientific details – the atmosphere for O2-breathing creatures, space suits, gravity establishment etc – but lets the reader imagine it from various names (leviathans and the Ark, for example).

The Characters: There are a lot of characters in this book, and I wish the list of them with their roles was placed at the beginning of the book rather than at the end. I became somewhat lost trying to sort them all out until I discovered the list, a problem for an e-book reader.

Tod Fox, captain of the freighter Heloise, delivers six foolhardy volunteers to Triton for seven years of servitude in return for a monetary windfall at the end of their service. Most volunteers don’t survive, so it’s a win-win for Ragnox. These volunteers get to know each other well during the long voyage out and form the nucleus of a family with Tod at its head. Among them is Yasmin Gwynn, who is delivered to Triton but then taken away. She becomes the head of Ocean Waves and a pain in the side of Pascal, who lives to find and eliminate her. The others are Smith, a communications wizard who becomes a member of Pascal’s star chamber and a threat to Pascal when he escapes; Clytemnestra, who rises through the ranks to run the Triton brothel; Merrit Burnand, who works as a medical assistant and sees all of the horror of Triton laboratories and forced labor; and Peter Seldon and Abigail Dieterman, engineers. All survive their servitude to become involved in the effort to bring Ragnox to its knees.

The characters are all really well-developed, so the reader has no difficulty sorting them out. Their emotions are very real and the reader can easily form a strong connection with each of them. The dialogue is crisp and even occasionally humorous.

The plot: The book jumps from main character to main character (another reason for knowing who they are at the beginning, along with their supporting personae) and brings each one forward at a time. The plot is full of twists and turns, so the reader needs to pay attention. It’s complicated so I won’t give more away, but know that it is a classical tale of good vs evil, of greed and lust for power, and the human desire for justice. And there’s even a super weapon, which makes the book a nail-biter towards the end.

Thorne Moore is an exceptional writer.  With this book, she delivers, as usual, a real sense of place – even without a lot of detail – and her characters are compelling.

Her plot is complicated and clever and keeps the reader engrossed in the story.

Highly recommended, and I am looking forward to the third book in the series and will go back to read the first!

About the author:

Thorne Moore grew up in Luton, near London, but has lived in Pembrokeshire in West Wales for the last 35 years. Her father was a Labor councilor and her mother once got the sack for calling her boss a male chauvinist pig, so she developed strong views about the way the world works. Her headmaster advised her to study law, but that implied a career in law, and the only career she wanted was as a writer. So she studied history instead, and nine years later, after a spell working in a library, she returned to Wales to run a restaurant with her sister. She did finally get her law degree, but these days, she writes. When she’s not writing, she makes miniature furniture, through her craft business, Pear Tree Miniatures.

Thorne Moore is a member of the Crime Writers Association and Crime Cymru, and, with fellow author Judith Barrow, organizes the Narbert Book Fair.

She writes psychological crime, or domestic noir, with a historical twist, focusing on the cause and consequences of crimes rather than on the details of the crimes themselves along with historical and family dramas.

You can find Thorne Moore

On twitter: @ThorneMoore

At: https://www.thornemoore.co.uk/

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thorne.moore.7

Or on her blog, Thorny Matters: https://thornemoore.blogspot.com/

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24 thoughts on “Book Review: Making Waves by Thorne Moore (@ThorneMoore)#RBRT #science fiction #thriller

  1. petespringerauthor

    Wow! Your high praise of Thorne Moore got my attention. I’m particularly fascinated by those who put their talents to work in different genres. While we can spot excellent writing in all genres, seeing it from one person is rare.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I did a double-take when I saw the cover. Thorne Moore… sci-fi? I think you much be right that she can tackle any genre. I think the ability to create strong characters transcends genres, and she seems to be talented at that. Great recommendation, Noelle, and congrats to Thorne on the wonderful review.

    Liked by 3 people

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